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Evictions Resume In Hamilton County As Officials Ask Court To Reconsider Decision

Cory Sharber
Local leaders gathered on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse April 2, 2021, to voice their criticism of the Municipal Court's decision.

Local leaders gathered on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse Friday to ask the Municipal Court to reconsider its decision to no longer honor the CDC moratorium on evictions.

According to a release from Aftab Pureval, the county's clerk of courts, the Municipal Court announced on Thursday during the morning's eviction docket that the CDC moratorium was no longer valid, and therefore, evictions would resume immediately in Hamilton County. The CDC had previously extended the moratorium until June.

Pureval says there are roughly 240 tenants in the county protected by the moratorium. He says it's wrong to evict people in the middle of a pandemic.

"There is in excess of $60 million available for emergency rental assistance and those checks are not made out to the tenants - those checks are made out to the landlord," Pureval said. "Because of this decision, our community partners will have even less time to get those resources where they're needed most."

Credit Cory Sharber / WVXU
County Commissioner Alicia Reece addresses the media at the Hamilton County Courthouse April 2, 2021.

County Commissioner Alicia Reece says the court's decision is a "step back," and the decision blindsided her, but she plans to work toward getting aid to the tenants affected.

"I've also asked the Clerk of Courts to give us the addresses and names of the 200 people that will be at risk right away, and I'm going to be asking the (county) administration to move into action teams through Jobs and Family Services to see if we can go out proactively to these homes and provide them with the necessary help that's available," Reece said.

The Municipal Court's decision comes just days after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the CDC eviction moratorium in a case out of Tennessee, saying that the order to pause evictions exceeded the CDC's authority. In March, a federal judge in Ohio made a similar ruling.

Residents needing assistance can access COVID-19 relief options at 513relief.org.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.